Astrology’s critics would have you believe that modern concepts of astronomy and space physics give no support to the tenets of astrology. They claim that those who continue to believe in such “superstitious nonsense” do so in spite of the fact there is no scientific basis for their belief.
Problem is, the main arguments skeptics have relied upon to discredit
astrology are less credible today than they once were. Specifically,
the notion that the sun, moon and planets are too far away to have any
measurable impact on human destiny is becoming increasingly difficult to
defend as a scientific certainty. Contrary evidence is piling up.
The other major objection to astrology – that science has yet to
discover a mechanism that explains how it works – is not holding up any
better. In a scientific paper presented
at a recent Advanced Research in Scientific Areas (ARSA) conference,
Prof. Alberto Saco Alvarez of the University of Vigo in Ourense, Spain, reported on significant
statistical correlations between solar activity and the prevalence of
some autoimmune diseases and mental disorders. His work adds to other
studies that have suggested correlations with solar activity and life on
earth beyond the obvious effects of visible light and heat. .
A link to Prof. Alvarez’s paper, Effects of Extremely Low Frequencies on Human Health, is posted on John and Susan Townley’s AstroCocktail.com website. John Townley is the author of several books and numerous articles
on astrology and science related topics. He describes the research as
“fabulous work that provides a connection between the sun and
In an interview, he provided these insights:
ANS: What most impressed you about the research?
Townley: It approaches the effects of extraterrestrial
influences (in this case the Sun’s output) in a very physical step-down
manner, which astrologers looking for a physical basis for their art
might imitate. Rather than simply make a statistical correlation between
periods of solar activity and higher subsequent incidence of
genetically-based diseases, Prof. Alvarez looks for plausible causal
mechanisms in between to connect them; in this case ELF (extremely low
frequency) magnetic waves/variations, which cause real effects on nerve
or immune cell production in vitro, which then lead to the disease. This
kind of stepwise causal linkage for astrological effects is something
scientists and astrologers need to investigate further.
In this experiment, the researcher came up with two sets of possible
links, one at around conception, and the other around birth. That’s also
something astrologers should look more to, as they tend to conclude
that everything comes from the birth horoscope, including clearly
prenatal inclinations like genetic diseases and a number of other
physical and neurological issues that are known to develop in the womb.
In these situations a birth horoscope just won’t fly as explanation.
ANS: What, exactly, does the research demonstrate?
Townley: From an astrological perspective, the research clearly demonstrates
the need for a better fundamental physical theory of just what
astrology is. To eventually get there will require some revamping of
terms and the repositioning of astrology as a variable environmental
science instead of some sort of a key to ineluctable fate.
Investigators will need to measure exactly what gravitational and
electromagnetic effects planetary positions and their tidal cycles have
on the earth’s environment – and how that may step down to individual
and group situations, chemically and biologically.
This seems to me the necessary direction to go if astrologers are to
reexamine their art and integrate it with the rest of developing
scientific disciplines, themselves still coming to grips with the
necessity for environmental and systems approaches (such as emergence,
complexity and catastrophe theories) beyond the simple cause and effect
of the past.
ANS: Why is this research important?
Townley: This particular piece of research is important
because it not only explores the specific issues it does for the sake of
the scientific community and academe, but also offers a gateway for
astrologers to enter that could put some firm ground under the feet of a
currently ad-hoc and overly broad art that has yet to fathom the
depths of the ocean upon which it sails.
ANS: Any closing thoughts?
Townley: This research is only one step of many in a needed
direction to unite the underlying “why” of traditional astrology and
modern science instead of squabbling about the individual “how”.
Astrologers tend to go no further to justify their art except to say
“because it works” (except when it doesn’t), which is a similar position
to where, let us say, European architecture was in late medieval times.
Builders were capable of constructing magnificent cathedrals following
(and elaborating on) the rules of Roman engineering, but it was
engineering only, without knowledge of the science of materials, tensile
strength, internal resonance, gravity, and the underlying details that a
successful structure relies on in the end.
So, there were numerous (and sometimes spectacular, as at Beauvais)
failures, and ultimately limits past which it was not possible to go
until the basic underpinnings were better understood. The same applied
to medicine, which reached an impasse until the nature of the
circulatory system, organic chemistry, and the microbial world were
uncovered and integrated into the field. Both areas did the best they
could with the ad hoc rules they had, but ultimately were deadlocked
until the fundamentals could be established. Astrology has been there
for some time – in fact, it’s still based on the same Classical rules
and world-view that architecture and medicine moved on from. It’s time
to proceed with the next step.
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